Bust out your lederhosen, and get ready to celebrate Evansville's rich German heritage at the annual Germania Maennerchor Volksfest on the city's west side.

What is a Maennerchor?

I've lived in Evansville my entire life and have been to Volksfest many, many times since being legally old enough to do so, and I've always wondered what exactly the word, "Maennerchor" meant. With that said, I never obsessed over it enough to actually look it up because my main concern was to go there and drink beer. While that's still the case, I did finally take a minute to Google the word, and according to Wikipedia, "Maennerchor" (pronounced MEN-ER-CORE) means, "men's chorus" which is a name given to German Social Clubs.

The Evansville Maennerchor has been around for over 120 years. According to its website, the club was founded in 1900 "by a group of individuals dedicated to sharing their passion with others." The club hosted its first Volksfest 34 years later as a way to celebrate the area's "German heritage and culture with authentic food, drinks, and activities." It was an annual event until the club stopped hosting it in 1941 when public opinion in America began to turn anti-German due to the events of World War II. Over 20 years later, in 1962, the club brought Volksfest back and the popular event has happened every year since.

What Happens at Volksfest?

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Did I mention there's beer? While that is certainly the main reason many residents attend, the event also offers authentic German food like bratwurst, pig knuckles, and sauerkraut, as well as authentic German music from the Rhein Valley Brass, the Ratskeller Band, and Cincinnati Schnapps.

If beer isn't your thing, this year's event will also feature wine as an option.

The event runs from 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM each day and is open to all ages until 2:00 PM. From that point on, it's 21 and over only. Admission is $5 per person beginning at 4:00 PM each day.

As they say in Deutschland (i.e. Germany), "ein Prosit der Germütlichkeit (a toast to cheer and good times)"

[Sources: Wikipedia / Evansville Germania Maennerchor]

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